Bryan Cohen here, guest poster and author, promoting my new book The Post-College Guide to Happiness for The Happiness Blog Tour. I’m giving away free digital review copies of the book and doing a giveaway for paperback copies, audio copies and even a Kindle Fire! Read on and check out the info below the post.
Reason and Character
“The chances are that you have already come to believe that happiness is unattainable. But men have attained it. And they have attained it by realizing that happiness does not spring from the procuring of physical or mental pleasure, but from the development of reason and the adjustment of conduct to principles.”
– Arnold Bennett
What is reason? I didn’t really know in my early 20s and I certainly wasn’t looking for it. I made lots of wild decisions attempting to find happiness for myself. I flew to France to try to rekindle an old romance. I spent $30,000 that I didn’t have on an attempt to be a television producer. To say that I wasn’t really using my noggin would be a bit of an understatement. Employing reason in your life on a consistent basis can be tough when it seems like the impulsive decisions are the most fun. The problem is that fun and happiness from impulsive decisions tends to be short-term. When you use reason to determine what you need to do to be happy, it’s typically a much more long-term solution.
What is character? In college, I had a bit of a reputation. I wanted to be a successful actor and producer but I wasn’t always the most moral about it. In the midst of my acting classes, I would try to do scenes that included kissing with the hottest girls in class. There was even a running gag about me in which people would label me saying, “Want to do a scene?” followed by making kissy faces. In college, I cheated on a girl I was dating by kissing a girl I used to date. In high school, I never would have dreamed about doing such a thing, but when it happened, I let my emotions get in the way of being a good, decent person. Later on, I realized that instead of trying to suppress guilt from doing questionably moral acts, my happiness was much more likely to come about if I simply followed moral principles. When you keep yourself on the straight and narrow path, you may be missing out on some quick and easy ways to make money or have an exciting experience, but once again, you’ll be adding to your long-term happiness.
By applying reason and character to my life, I was probably labeled by some of my friends as less crazy and fun then I used to be. Then again, I also felt myself gravitating to nicer people who were more loyal and willing to look out for me. I felt good about myself when I looked in the mirror and there wasn’t nearly as much uncertainty. I applied reason to figure out my goals and purpose and I applied character to figure out how to do it in the right way. Knowing where I was going and how to do it was starting to build up my happiness day by day. I still look back on my past transgressions while shaking my head and feeling guilty, but I can’t change the decisions I’ve made. I can only change the ones I make in the moment and for the future. Working on that with my head up and a smile on my face, has given me the best chance I’ve ever had at attaining happiness.
Bryan Cohen is a writer, actor and comedian from Dresher, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005 with degrees in English and Dramatic Art and a minor in Creative Writing. He has written nine books including 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts: Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More, 500 Writing Prompts for Kids: First Grade through Fifth Grade, Writer on the Side: How to Write Your Book Around Your 9 to 5 Job and his new book, 1,000 Character Writing Prompts: Villains, Heroes and Hams for Scripts, Stories and More. His website Build Creative Writing Ideas helps over 25,000 visitors a month to push past writer’s block and stay motivated.
Feel free to follow along with the tour at The Happiness Blog Tour Hub Page.
Thanks Nicole for letting me be a part of your blog! Wonderful readers, feel free to enter with your e-mail address below for your chance to win!
I’ll preview this, looks like a good book.
Thanks Adrienne! To enter and get your free copy of the book either list your e-mail here or send me an e-mail at postcollegehappiness (at) gmail.com. Have a great weekend!
Your books sounds really great. Thanks for this giveaway.
Thanks Margaret! To enter and get your free copy of the book either list your e-mail here or send me an e-mail at postcollegehappiness (at) gmail.com. Have a great weekend!
Would love to check this out.
Thanks Nickie! To enter and get your free copy of the book either list your e-mail here or send me an e-mail at postcollegehappiness (at) gmail.com. Have a great weekend!
Your book sounds very interesting. Thanks for the chance to win a Kindle!
abfantom at yahoo dot com
Just sent an e-mail your way. Thanks for entering!
Sounds great, I have a son going to college in the Fall.
Thanks Susan! I would love to send a book your way. Post your e-mail address here or send me an e-mail at postcollegehappiness (at) gmail.com to enter.
With two in college this would be a great gift for them~
With two in college this would be a great gift for them [email protected]
Thanks Katherine! Just sent an e-mail with the book download your way!
Just the thought of college expenses make me cringe!
dolniaks at consolidated dot net
Great giveaway! gruntthefrog at gmail dot com
Thanks for the great giveaway!
karlene baila at gmail-dot-com
I would love a chance to enter and the book sounds great!!
Thank you 🙂
kimberlybreid at hotmail dot com
E-mails are all sent guys and gals! 🙂
Would love to win this!
ssantoro78 (at)gmail (dot)com
you are so prolific Bryan and in different genres – impressive!
“By applying reason and character to my life” i would say is how you have the life you do!!
email on blog profile as above
Aw, thanks so much :). You have been entered! Sent you the book download link on March 10th, just so you know! Have an awesome weekend!
Thanks for the chance! Have an awesome day!
this sounds like a great book! addictedtorodeo at gmail dot com
Thanks for the opportunity!
All entries sent as of March 31st! 🙂
Keep ’em coming, this is the most popular one so far entry-wise!
Sounds like just what our daughter needs right now! Thanks so much for this chance!
h4schaffer at gmail dot com
Thank you for the opportunity. The book sounds interesting and reads well. I am also impressed that you answer all the posts.
Have a great day!
Please enter me!
trippyjanet at gmail dot com
E-mails sent everybody!
Thanks Kim for the kind words, I’m trying to keep up as best I can :).
Sounds like something I would benefit from reading at this point in my life!
rasmith0506 at gmail dot com
Thanks for the contest! medgirl_2001 at hotmail dot com
Very interested to read this book.
katja9_10 at hotmail dot com
sounds like a great read!!
I would love to read your book and possibly win one! email is [email protected]
Thanks for the chance to win!
Thanks for the giveaway and opportunity. Congrats to Bryan.
Looks like a great book! Thanks for the chance!
Sorry, I should have left my email in the previous comment.
The book sounds awesome and i would love to read it!
sounds like an interesting book
I can’t wait to read your book, thanks for the great giveaway!
Thank you can’t wait to check it out
always need more happiness!
Thanks! Looks like a good read
Thanks for this giveaway! jenharriman123 @ gmail . com
Your book sounds interesting. Thanks for a chamce to win a Kindle.
ladyt64 at gmail dot com
My daughter is graduating in June from College. She will definitely need this!
I would love a kindle fire it could be my graduation present
This sounds like a great book for my grandchildren.
I hope that books like this help the younger generation not make the same mistakes of the middle-aged.
I like your blog:)
Wow that is a lot of books under his belt already. Thanks for great giveaway.
Thanks for the opportunity. Would love to read the book.
michedt at yahoo dot com
Thank you Bryan…and Pretty Opinionated. 🙂
Sounds like an interesting book! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!
Tandt625 at hotmail dot com
I would def read this. My daughter could use it as well
willdebbie97 at yahoo dot com
I would like to win the Fire.
Thanks for the contest.
I would love to be entered to win.